Mixed Media Art Retreat Cefalu, Sicily, October 2-9, 2021
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Mixed Media Art Retreat Cefalu, Sicily, October 2-9, 2021


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Join Keli for an unforgettable retreat creating mixed-media art with Toni D'Antoni in the Sicilian resort town of Cefalu (pronounced Chefaloo). 

Cefalu, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, is a resort town on the northern coast of Sicily, about 70 km from Palermo. Occupied by Greeks, Romans, Arabs and Spaniards, the village has a rich history. The city is dominated by a monumental rock that rises up to 270 metres in height already known to the Phoenicians as "promontory of Hercules" on which the Temple of Diana stands, a megalithic building linked to the worship of the water, as indicated by the nearby cistern dating from the ninth century BC. The historic district is lying in the shadow of this bastion and clings around its beating heart which is undoubtedly the Duomo, a gigantic cathedral built by Roger II, the Norman.

Our home for the week will be La Plumeria, a charming bed and breakfast in the center of Cefalu not far from the Duomo.

We'll start our mornings with Sicilian pastries, meat cheese, with fresh fruit and coffee before creating with Toni in his rustic studio, or enjoying excursions to discover the rich history and culture of northern Sicily. We'll end our days indulging in delicious meals at local eateries.

Three days will be spent in Toni's studio which is located in the hills above Cefalu, a short drive from the center. With Toni's expert guidance we will learn his unique sculptural and painting techniques using only found objects. On these art workshop days Antonella, Tony's wife who is a fabulous cook, will serve our group a Sicilian buffet lunch complete with a local sparkling wine. Antonella will also show us how to make a different Sicilian dessert each day, we'll taste these traditional specialties and she will give us the recipes so we can make them at home. 

During our stay we'll discover the charms of Cefalu's narrow streets, full of character and lined with delightful shops and restaurants. We'll drink espresso or an aperitivo in its beautiful central square and watch the bustle of daily life in this lively fishing village. We'll stroll the sandy beaches gathering inspiration and perhaps a few found objects for our mixed-media creations. One day we will explore Palermo with its many markets, fabulous Sicilian street food, and magnificent Cathedral. Another day we will travel to Castelbuono in the Madonie Mountians, and a highlight will be visiting a local olive farm for an olive oil tasting and a winery tour with tasting luncheon. We'll see other sites as time permits.

This is your opportunity to explore and create with Toni and Keli in this unique part of the world!

A note from Keli...
"I was first introduced to Toni's work while vacationing with my husband in Cefalu in 2016, His paintings and sculpture were on display at Hotel Kahura where we were staying. Every morning as I was greeted by his work in the lobby, I was moved by his preference for traditional motifs...Roman columns, religious icons, and arabic architechture...set into whimsical art pieces. His palette of natural colors and the unique incorporation of found objects in his work spoke to me. I contacted him and asked if he would ever consider teaching me some of his techniques. I was already seeing this workshop in his future! In the fall of 2017 I had the opportunity to work with Toni in his studio just outside of Cefalu and found him to be a gracious and humble man who lives to create. His wife, Antonella, is just a gracious with the added bonus of being a fabulous cook! I am excited to invite a small group of eight ladies to Toni's workshop and enjoy Antonella's cooking!"

Price includes:
  • Ground transportation to and from Palermo Falcone-Borsellino Airport.
  • Charming Double-occupancy Rooms with twin beds with en-suite bathrooms. Single room supplement $500.
  • 6 breakfasts, 6 lunches, and 6 Dinners including local wines.
  • Walking tour and Street Food Tasting in Palermo.
  • All art classes and supplies. Students will create three mixed media projects.
  • A visit to a local olive farm with olive oil tasting.
  • Winery Tour and Tasting with paired luncheon 
  • All field trips and ground transportation.

Registration: This is an exclusive tour open to only 8 students

A non-refundable $500 deposit reserves your place. Balance is due February 15, 2021.

Price does not include airfare which can be arranged through Bob Kerr at Travel House.

NOTE: Trip insurance is strongly recommended, this can also be purchased very reasonably from Travel House or through AAA. Email keli@poggibonsigifts.com or call Keli Sim DeRitis at 206-714-8278 for more information. 

This is a working itinerary so days and activities may change in order to give you the best possible experience for the week...


Day 1

Our group will meet our driver at noon at Palermo's Falcone Borsellino Airport. We'll be transported to the center of Palermo where we'll enjoy a walking tour of the historic center, visit markets, and enjoy tasting Sicily's famous street foods such as arancini, panelle, and canoli. We'll drive to Cefalu, get situated at the hotel and have a welcome dinner

   Day 2

We'll have a relaxing day in Cefalu, exploring the charming streets lined with shops and eateries. We'll spend some time at the beach where we'll do a little beachcombing to search for found objects that we can incorporate in our mixed-media creations.
   Day 3

We work with Toni in his studio and begin creating.
  Day 4

Another day creating with Toni in his studio.
   Day 5

We'll spend the morning at an olive farm a few miles from Cefalu, then we'll drive to Castelbuono for a winery tour at Abbazia Sant'Anastasia and a luncheon featuring their wines. After lunch, we'll explore the beautiful village.
  Day 6

Our last day in the studio will be spent finishing our projects.
   Day 7

Arrivaderci. We'll leave about 9:30 to be transported back to the Palermo Airport.